April 16, 2024
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Indian-origin professor sues Massachusetts college for racial discrimination

According to a media report, an associate professor of Indian descent at the Wellesley business school in Massachusetts has filed a complaint, claiming that she was the victim of racial and gender discrimination.

Lakshmi Balachandra, an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, claimed she suffered mistreatment and reputational damage as a result of administrators’ failure to look into her complaints, which led to the loss of career opportunities, financial losses, and emotional distress, according to a February 27 article in The Boston Globe. In 2019, Lakshmi Balachandra received tenure after joining the faculty at Babson in 2012.

As one of the “main direct perpetrators of the hostile work environment,” she specifically named Andrew Corbett, a professor and former chair of the college’s entrepreneurship programme, in her case. Lakshmi Balachandra claimed in a complaint dated February 27 that Corbett, who was in charge of overseeing teaching assignments, class scheduling, and annual reviews, only permitted her to teach required courses in entrepreneurship despite her requests to teach electives – despite the fact that she had previously instructed in these courses at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Business School.

“Babson favours white and male faculty and predominantly reserves awards and privileges for them,” Lakshmi Balachandra’s complaint alleged.She was allegedly refused multiple leadership roles and opportunities for greater time to conduct research and write despite her research history, professed interest, and contribution to the college.

“Such privileges are routinely given to white male faculty in the entrepreneurship division,” the complaint read.

The professor has also reported alleged discrimination to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, according to Monica Shah, the attorney for Lakshmi Balachandra.

Babson College has responded that it takes complaints seriously and has resources and established systems in place to fully investigate and address them.

“The college is home to a diverse global community where equity and inclusion are valued and incorporated across every facet of campus, and where discrimination of any kind is not tolerated,” a spokesperson of Babson College was quoted as saying.

The report said that Lakshmi Balachandra, who is now on leave since she has been accepted for a fellowship at the National Science Foundation, is asking for unspecified damages.
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